Every now and then a new handheld comes out of nowhere that catches our attention. This time it’s the Gameforce Handheld which has leaked amongst retro gaming forumns across the web.
All information within this article is rumoured, there is no official reveal of this handheld as of yet, therefore we are only stating information from community members that we think may be true.
We first heard about Gameforce handheld via a Spanish forum called Elotrolado. Images and videos have leaked here and it shows a great looking handheld that seems to be a clone of the oh so famous ODROID Go Advance.
As of now we have no idea if this is going to be a Chinese exclusive, or if it will be available to masses and therefore USA and Europe.
It could do what the people behind the ZPG Pro did, only launching a very small batch across the seas, perhaps 1000 units, but who knows?
Gameforce Handheld Specifications
Again, we need to mention that none of this information is fact, so please take it with a pinch of salt. The below specs is what is rumoured:
- RockChip RK3326 (Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A35 1.3GHz)
- GPU : Mali-G31 Dvalin.
- 1GB RAM
- 3.5″ IPS Display (4:3 Screen of 640×460)
- 2500MAH Battery
- Possibly WiFi/Bluetooth Connectivity
Let’s Talk About The Visuals
The Gameforce handheld is a great looking device, it’s undeniable. It’s obvious they have taken some small design features from the Gameboy Advance too, and that makes it look somewhat nostalgic.
The 3″ screen sits high on the handheld, leaving space on the chin for a number of buttons. The home button looks out of place in all honesty, but this adds character.
The speakers look perfectly placed, above the thumbs out of the way, just where they should be.
The DPAD and buttons used, have this slightly grey/teal tint to it which we haven’t seen on any of the best retro handhelds before. The D-Pad has odd circle detailing to them, which goes to show that they’re paying attention to detail.
The analogue sticks sit inside of the shell allowing for better portability. From what we can tell these analogue sticks look different to what we’ve seen before. They’re grippy, concurved and featured small arrows on them.
There’s no information yet on if they click in for R3/L3.
The GameForce logo looks a little old school, and it’s too big, it screams N-Gage, and we’t not a fan. Hopefully they make this smaller upon launch just like the RG351P did.
The back has us slightly confused. With the slimlined analogue sticks you’d think they would want to make this handheld thin, right? But for some reason, they’ve added two extensions to the back that raise out of the handheld.
This could add comfortability, and obviously hides the screws but we can’t help but worry if customers sit on this. That’s not going to be comfortable!
In the image above you can see what looks like a headphone jack and possibly USB-C charging. USB-C is mandatory in any new handheld in 2020, we don’t want them to make the same mistake the Coolbaby RS3128 did recently.
On the top you can see four shoulder buttons. Two which sit on the corners and wrap themselves around the handheld slightly, and the other two that sits flush with the extended screen. This makes it look different to its competitors, and we rarely see this in handhelds which is a nice new touch.
The shell is most likely palstic too, as much as it looks metal, we can’t see that happening. No company would take the risk to invest in a metal shell before testing a plastic shell on the market. So we expect plastic.
We’re also not fans of all of the text around the screens border, especially up top. It makes the Gameforce handheld look cheap and clustered, but this could be removed by launch.
The Gameforce handheld is nowhere near finished. From the image above you can see the screen is still having issues as it’s a different ratio compared to other RK3326 handhelds like the RK2020.
Perhaps we will see it in early 2021? But by then the RK3326 will be near outdated, so it all depends on what the price point is of the Gameforce handheld. Anything under $65 would be good, anything more and your pushing towards the Retroid Pocket 2 boundaries, and that’s our favourite handheld yet.
It looks as if new colours of the Gameforce handheld is coming to fruition, as of updating this article on the 27th January 2021, a green edition has been leaked. It also looks as if this edition has LED lights within the buttons which could be a first for Chinese retro handhelds.
This feature alone will catch a wide number of handheld collector’s attention. Perhaps throughout its launch we could see different colour variants and who knows, maybe we will be able to change the LED colours within the settings? How cool would that be?
Update: As of 15th February a new video has been uploaded on YouTube that gives a first look at the handheld, and even a little tear down. It looks promising but not as portable as we first through because it has awkward notches on the back.
Take a look for yourself below.
Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @retro_dodo on Twitter and we’ll happily have a discussion with you about this fake Gameboy Advance possibility!